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My middle child, Sky, was invited to a birthday party the other day at a bowling alley, so her little sister and I tagged along, mostly for support as Sky gets a bit anxious in new situations.

We decided that we’d make a date of it and bowl in the lane alongside the party while munching on chicken strips.

I ordered a bucket of popcorn as well, not realizing this thing was magically never-ending.

I’m not saying the person kept coming to refill the popcorn, because that wasn’t the case…it just didn’t freaking end no matter how much we ate.

I’m convinced it was magic.

Either that, or in the gloom of the ‘glo bowling’ atmosphere, the server was indeed sneaking by and dumping cup-fulls of popcorn into the bucket every time I wasn’t looking just to mess with me.

Or it could be that I had accidentally paid for free refills without knowing it (which would account for the insane price of the whole meal) and just never noticed them coming by to refill it.

My brain has been kind of on the fritz lately due to a daily preventative migraine medication I recently started taking, so it’s entirely possible the person was standing right in front of me and I had a full conversation with them about magic popcorn and everything while they were actually refilling the stupid thing.

Crazier things have happened.

Anyway, my story isn’t actually about magic popcorn, but about my youngest child, Lexi, who has recently decided to start a party decor business.

Or at least I assume that is the reason behind the horrible theft that took place that dark, dark day.

Let me set the stage.

I was getting along great with the father of the birthday child who also had anxiety like my middle child and I, and since we had nothing to do after an hour or so of bowling, he and his lovely wife invited Lexi and I into the party room with the others as they had lots of space.

So that was how we ended up sitting at one of the party tables that were littered with cute little shiny cutouts of balloons and stars and whatever other party shaped thingys happened to come in the package.

They were bright red, gold, green, purple, and silver and stood out against the white table cloth.

The room itself was painted a drab brownish color which was an odd choice for a ‘joyful party room’.

I’m pretty sure the decorator of the bowling alley was terribly depressed because of a failed marriage or something by the time she reached the party room and simply said, “Fuck it, paint it brown because all the little shits will throw cake and crap around and it will stain the fu*king walls anyway! If it’s already brown you won’t have to repaint it every f*cking year because your damn husband can’t clean up after himself and never wipes up anything he spills on the damn floor or counter or walls or any f*cking place!”

So this is why the walls are brown.

In my opinion.

Anyway, so my 7 year old and I were sitting side by side at one table with the dad while all the other kids were crowded at the other table.

Then the dad got up to help the mom with the cake or something.

It was at this point that my little ‘angel’ opened up the purse on her lap, looked around with her eyes narrowed, then carefully scooped the party glitter table decor into her little purse.

I looked on with a raised eyebrow, wondering what on earth was going through my child’s mind.

She reached for a second scoop, stopped, looked over at me, raised her finger slowly to her lips, GRINNED, said, “Shhhh!” then sneakily finished scooping the contents into her purse.

March 29th 2016 JPG

I was astounded at her audacity.

At this point I immediately felt as if I was an accomplice in some huge criminal offence and froze, looking toward the parents to see if they had noticed my child’s very first crime.

I was speechless and looked back toward my child with half a smile because I was both stunned and amused at the same time. Of course it had occurred to me that the silly little glittery cutouts were dollar store stuff that would just be thrown in the garbage after the party anyway, but although my child was very intelligent for her age, I wasn’t totally sure if she realized that and was just messing with me or not.

My mind started whirling with the issues this now presented. I’m an introvert. I HATE attention and having to deal with things like this. If my daughter was really trying to steal the damn dollar store decor in order to start her own business or whatever, I would have to now deal with the horrors of making her go to the parents to apologize, making her empty the purse in front of the other children to teach her a valuable lesson about not stealing.

Oh God, for those of you who have no idea what it’s like to deal with anxiety, this situation was like the worst thing in the entire world. At the end of it all…I knew I would end up being more angry at my child, not for stealing, but for making me have to be noticed. For making me have to go up to the parents and actually talk.

Sure I’d pass it off as being upset that she stole something, but that would pale in comparison to the real reason.

Do you know what my evil little genius did then? After seeing the panic on my face and the sweat start beading on my forehead?

She dissolved into a fit of giggles and opened her purse saying, “I’m kidding silly!” and proceeded to pick each piece of the shiny party decor out of her purse one by one, line them boldly up on the table in front of her like she’d done nothing wrong, while humming!!!

Holy crap shit this child is going to give me heart failure one day!

I fear for my sanity when she’s a teenager because she is only seven and already her sense of humor is far beyond her years. She makes me laugh constantly at her antics and always knows just how to make me smile. And obviously thinks it’s hilarious to make me totally freak out for no good fricking reason.

Each child you have brings something different into your life and teaches you different lessons, even if they are only in your life for a moment. Sometimes it takes a while for you to understand why they have been brought into your life and what they were meant to teach you…patience, kindness, generosity, endurance, acceptance, happiness, faith, strength, to face your fears, that you have the ability to make it through the worst pain ever, that you can love with everything you have.

This one has already taught me how to just relax and enjoy life…how to laugh. She’s so free and so loving. She knows how to make people around her smile when they are down and will hug the life out of you if given the chance. Her sense of humor is incredible, and her laugh is so contagious. I hope whatever battles she faces as she gets older, she always remains this beautiful inside.

*****
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 Posted on : March 29, 2016

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